ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(3), 680-703; doi:10.3390/ijgi2030680
Article

Alpine Glaciology: An Historical Collaboration between Volunteers and Scientists and the Challenge Presented by an Integrated Approach

Received: 4 June 2013; in revised form: 15 July 2013 / Accepted: 23 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Mapping)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: European Alpine glaciology has a long tradition of studies and activities, in which researchers have often relied on the field work of some specialized volunteer operators. Despite the remarkable results of this cooperation, some problems in field data harmonization and in covering the whole range of monitored glaciers are still present. Moreover, dynamics of reduction, fragmentation and decline, which in recent decades characterize Alpine glaciers, make more urgent the need to improve spatial and temporal monitoring, still maintaining adequate quality standards. Scientific field monitoring activities on Alpine glaciers run parallel to a number of initiatives by individuals and amateur associations, keepers of alternative, experiential and para-scientific knowledge of the glacial environment. Problems of harmonization, coordination, recruitment and updating can be addressed with the help of a collaborative approach—citizen science-like—in which the scientific coordination guarantees information quality and web 2.0 tools operate as mediators between expert glaciologists and non-expert contributors. This paper gives an overview of glaciological information currently produced in the European Alpine region, representing it in an organized structure, functional to the discussion. An empowering solution is then proposed, both methodological and technological, for the integration of multisource data. Its characteristics, potentials and problems are discussed.
Keywords: glaciology; data quality; citizen science; volunteered geographic information; incidental information; data harmonization; data quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Criscuolo, L.; Pepe, M.; Seppi, R.; Bordogna, G.; Carrara, P.; Zucca, F. Alpine Glaciology: An Historical Collaboration between Volunteers and Scientists and the Challenge Presented by an Integrated Approach. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 680-703.

AMA Style

Criscuolo L, Pepe M, Seppi R, Bordogna G, Carrara P, Zucca F. Alpine Glaciology: An Historical Collaboration between Volunteers and Scientists and the Challenge Presented by an Integrated Approach. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2013; 2(3):680-703.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Criscuolo, Laura; Pepe, Monica; Seppi, Roberto; Bordogna, Gloria; Carrara, Paola; Zucca, Francesco. 2013. "Alpine Glaciology: An Historical Collaboration between Volunteers and Scientists and the Challenge Presented by an Integrated Approach." ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2, no. 3: 680-703.

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